World Statesmen.org HOME >

 
 





 
 

 

Kiribati
 
[Kingdom of Abemama flag 1884
                                    (Kiribati)]
15 Apr 1884 - 28 Jun 1884 Abemama
 
[Kingdom of Abemama flag,
                                    1884-1889 (Kiribati)]
28 Jun 1884 - 1889 Abemama
 
[Kingdom of Abemama, flag
                                    1889-1892 (Kiribati)]
1889 - 27 May 1892 Abemama
 
[Gilbert
                                    and Ellice Islands British
                                    Resident's flag 1895-1937]
1895 - 1937 British Gilbert Islands Resident's Flag
 
[Gilbert and Ellice Islands
                                    flag, 1937-1975]
1 May 1937 - 1 Oct 1975

[Gilbert and Ellice Islands
                                    flag with scroll, 1975-1979]
1 Oct 1975 - 12 Jul 1979

[Kiribati]
Adopted 12 Jul 1979


 Map of Kiribati
 Hear National Anthem
"Teirake kaini Kiribati"
(Stand Up Kiribati)
 Text of National Anthem
Adopted 12 Jul 1979
Constitution
(12 Jul 1979)
Capital: Tarawa
(Butaritari 1892-27 Jan 1916;
Tapiri 17 Jan 1916-1945;
Bairiki 1945-12 Jul 1976)
Currency: Kiribati Dollar (KID) (from 1979); Australian Dollar
(AUD) 
National Holiday: 12 Jul (1979)
Independence Day
Population: 109,367 (2018)
GDP: $227 million (2017)
Exports: $84.7 million (2017)
Imports: $107.1 million (2017)
Ethnic groups: I-Kiribati 96.2%, I-Kiribati/mixed 1.8%,
Tuvaluan 0.2%, other 1.8% (2015)
Total Police Force: 458 (2012)
Defense assistance is provided by Australia & New Zealand
Merchant marine: 111 ships (2018)
Religions: Roman Catholic 57.3%, Kiribati Uniting Church 31.3%, Mormon 5.3%, Baha'i 2.1%, Seventh-Day
Adventist 1.9%, other 2.1%, (2015)
International Organizations/Treaties: ACP, ADB, AOSIS, APA, APM, C, CTBT, CWC, FAO, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IRENA, ISA, ITU, ITUC, NPT, OPCW, PC, PIF, UN, UNCLOS, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFCC, UNFCC-KP, UNFCC-PA, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO
Kiribati Index
Chronology

21 Dec 1605                Spanish Capt. Pedro Fernández de Quirós 
                             sights Butaritari, which he names Buen Viaje.
 2 Jul 1765                Nikunau sighted by British Capt. John Byron.
May 1788                   British Capt. Thomas Gilbert aboard the Charlotte
                             visits, what is later called, Gilbert Islands.

....                       Abemama kingdom established.
1820                       Named Gilbert Islands by Russian Admiral Adam
                             von Krusenstern (b. 1770 - d. 1846).
 
4 Feb 1878                Under British jurisdiction by the British Western
                             Pacific order (of 14 Aug 1877).
27 May 1892                Gilbert Islands declared a British protectorate
                             by H.M. Davis of the HMS Royalist.
 9-16 Oct 1892             Ellice Islands declared a British protectorate.
26 Sep 1901                Ocean (Banaba) Island annexed by U.K.
12 Jan 1916                Gilbert and Ellice Islands a British crown colony. 
12 Jan 1916 -  2 Jan 1976  Part of the British Western Pacific Territories.
18 Mar 1937                Phoenix Islands (part of Kiribati) annexed by U.K.
 8 Apr 1937                Phoenix Islands (Canton, Enderbury, Hull, Birnie,
                             Gardner, Phoenix, Sydney, McKean, Christmas,
                             Caroline, Starbuck, Malden, Flint and Vostok
                             islands) part of Gilbert and Ellice Islands.
29 Feb 1916 -  1 Jan 1949  Colony includes Union Group (see Tokelau).
 9 Dec 1941-20/23 Nov 1943 Japanese occupation (occupation: Makin 10 Dec
                             1941-17 Aug 1942, from 30 Aug 1942, Butaritari
                             19 Aug 1942, Ocean Island 26 Aug 1942 - 10 Oct
                             1945; Abemama 31 Aug 1942 - 23 Nov 1943,
                             Tarawa 9 Dec 1941 and Sep 1942-23 Nov 1943).
Nov 1943 - 1945            Gilbert Islands under U.S. military administration,
                             (from 1 Oct 1944, under Marshall Islands Area),
                             U.K. civil administration continues.
 1 Oct 1975                Separation of the Ellice Islands as
Tuvalu.
12 Jul 1979                Independence of the Gilbert Islands as 
                             Independent and Sovereign Republic of Kiribati.
20 Sep 1979                U.S. recognizes Canton (Kanton), Enderbury, Hull 
                             (Orona), Birnie, Gardner (Nikumaroro), Phoenix
                             (Rawaki), Sydney (Manra), McKean, Christmas
                             (Kiritimati), Caroline, Starbuck, Malden, Flint
                             and Vostok islands as part of Kiribati
                             (effective 23 Sep 1983).

Abemama
(to 1911)
Banaba (Ocean)
Island

(1900-1945)
Canton and
Enderbury Islands

(1939-1979)
Christmas Island
(Kiritimati)

(1888-1979)
 
 
 
 
 
 

Chiefs of Abemama (title Uea)
.... - ....                Mangkia
.... - ....                Mwea
.... - ....                Teannaki
.... - ....                Tetabo
.... - ....                Namoriki
.... - 1840                Karotu                             (b. 1791 - d. af.1840)
1840 - 1850                Tawaia                             (d. 1850)
1850 - 1878                Baiteke
1878 - 10 Nov 1891         Binoka                             (b. c.1838 - d. 1891)
10 Nov 1891 -  15 May 1892 Timon (Simon) -Regent              (b. c.1840 - d. 1892)
15 May 1892 - c.1895       Paul Bauro I                       (b. 1882 - d. 1895?)
c.1895 - 1911              John R. Tokatake
1911 - 1944                Tekinaiti

1944 - 19..                Taburimai
Chiefs of Butaritari
(title Uea)
.... - ....                Atanga   
.... - ....                Kakiaba 
.... - ....                Tetabakea
.... - ....                Teauoki
.... - ....                Teatumateatata
.... - ....                Teitimaroroa
.... - ....                Kaiea I 
.... - ....                Teitei 
.... - ....                Bakatokia
.... - ....                Bureimoa
.... - 1912                Tabu                               (d. 1912)
1912 - 1954                Kaiea II                           (d. 1954)
1954 - 1959                Koriri                             (d. 1959)
1959 - 1963                Nan Uraura                         (d. 1963)
Resident Commissioners
Oct 1893 - Nov 1895        Charles Richard Swayne             (b. 1843 - d. 1921)
Nov 1895 - Jun 1903        William Telfer Campbell (1st time) (b. 1863 - d. 1929)
Jun 1903 - Apr 1904        R.H. Cogswell (1st time)(acting)
Apr 1904 - Jan 1907
        William Telfer Campbell (2nd time) (s.a.)
Jan 1907 - Apr 1907 
      R.H. Cogswell (2nd time)(acting)
Apr 1907 - Jan 1909        William Telfer Campbell (3rd time) (s.a.)
Jan 1909 - Jun 1909        Arthur William Mahaffy (acting)    (b. 1866 - d. 1919)
Jun 1909 - Sep 1909        R.H. Cogswell (3rd time)(acting)
Sep 1909 - Feb 1913        John Quayle-Dickson                (b. 1860 - d. 1945)
Feb 1913 - Oct 1913        George M. Murdoch (acting)
Oct 1913 - Sep 1915
        Edward Carlyon Eliot (1st time)    (b. 1879 - d. 1940)
Sep 1915 - Dec 1915
       Charles H. Workman (1st time)
                             (acting)
Dec 1915 - May 1916
        Edward Carlyon Eliot (2nd time)    (s.a.)
May 1916 - Jan 1917        Charles H. Workman (2nd time)
                             (acting)
Jan 1917 - May 1918
        Edward Carlyon Eliot (3rd time)    (s.a.)
May 1918 - Sep 1918        S.F. Anderson (1st time)(acting)
Sep 1918 - May 1919
        Edward Carlyon Eliot (4th time)    (s.a.)
May 1919 - Nov 1919        Charles R. Keyte (acting)
Nov 1919 - Apr 1920        Edward Carlyon E
liot (5th time)    (s.a.)
Apr 1920 - Jul 1920        Arthur Francis Grimble (1st time)  (b. 1888 - d. 1956)
Jul 1920 - May 1921        Thomas Dundas Hope Bruce (acting)  (b. 1885 - d. 1940)
May 1921 - Sep 1921        S.F. Anderson (2nd time)(acting)
Sep 1921 - Jan 1922        W.T.L. Bentley (acting)
Jan 1922 - Feb 1922       
Arthur Francis Grimble (2nd time)  (s.a.)
                             (acting)
Feb 1922 -  1 Jan 1926     Herbert Reginald McClure           (b. 1883 - d. 1926)
Oct 1925 - 1933            Arthur Francis Grimble             (s.a.)
                             (acting to Jan 1926)
Aug 1932 - Dec 1933        Charles A. Swinbourne              (b. 1884 - d. 1956)    
                             (acting for Gimble)
 
3 Dec 1933 - 19 Dec 1941  Jack Charles Barley                (b. 1887 - d. 1956)
Japanese Commanders
 9 Dec 1941 - 1942         Shigetoshi Miyazaki                (d. 1942)
1942 - 17 Aug 1942         Kyuzaburo Kanemitsu

Sep 1942 - 22 Feb 1943     Keisuke Matsuo
                     (b. 1890? - d. 1943)
22 Feb 1943 - Jul 1943     Saichirō Tomonari                  (b. 1887 - d. 1962)  
Sep 1943 - 20 Nov 1943     Keiji Shibazaki                    (b. 1894 - d. 1943)
Resident Commissioners
Mar 1942 - Aug 1942        S.G. Clarke (acting)
Aug 1942 - Nov 1945        Vivian Fox-Strangways              (b. 1898 - d. 1974)
Dec 1941 - Aug 1942        Cyril George Fox Cartwright
       (b. 1920 - d. 1943)
                             (acting for Fox-Strangways)   
18 Dec 1943 -  1 Oct 1944  Carl Henry Jones                   (b. 1893 - d. 1958)
                             (U.S. commander Gilbert Islands Subarea)
Nov 1945 - Jan 1946
        Henry Evans Maude (1st time)       (b. 1906 - d. 2006)
                             (acting)
Jan 1946 - Oct 1946        David C.I. Wernham (acting)
Oct 1946 - Dec 1948        Henry Evans Maude (2nd time)       (s.a.)
                            
(acting to Dec 1946)
Dec 1948 - Feb 1949        R.J. Keegan (acting)
Feb 1949 - Feb 1952        William John Peel                  (b. 1912 - d. 2004)
Feb 1952 -  5 Aug 1952     Brian Cuthbert Cartland (1st time) (b. 1913)
                             (acting)
 
5 Aug 1952 - Nov 1953     Michael Louis Bernacchi (1st time) (b. 1911 - d. 1983)
Nov 1953 - Mar 1954       
Brian Cuthbert Cartland (2nd time) (s.a.)
                             (acting)
Mar 1954 - Aug 1955       
Michael Louis Bernacchi (2nd time) (s.a.)
Aug 1955 - May 1956        Frederick Nigel Molière Pusinelli  (b. 1919)
                            
(1st time)(acting)
May 1956 - Nov 1956       
Michael Louis Bernacchi (3rd time) (s.a.)
Nov 1956 - Jul 1957
        Frederick Nigel Molière Pusinelli  (s.a.)
                            
(2nd time)(acting)
Jul 1957 - Apr 1959       
Michael Louis Bernacchi (4th time) (s.a.)
Apr 1959 - Sep 1959        Roy Davies (1st time)(acting)      (b. 1922? - d. 1982)
Sep 1959 - Oct 1961
        Michael Louis Bernacchi (5th time) (s.a.)
Oct 1961 - Apr 1962        Roy Davies (2ndtime)(acting)       (s.a.)
Apr
1962 - Jun 1964        Valdemar Jens Andersen (1st time)  (b. 1919 - d. 2004)
Jun 1964 - Oct 1964        Richard Angeloni (acting)          (b. 1920 - d. 2018)
Oct 1964 - Nov 1966
        Valdemar Jens Andersen (2nd time)  (s.a.)
Nov 1966 - Mar 1967        Michael M. Townsend (acting)       (b. 1920 - d. 2015)
Mar 1967 - Jun 1969
        Valdemar Jens Andersen (3rd time)  (s.a.)
Jun 1969 - Jan 1970        Derek George Cudmore (acting)      (b. 1923 - d. 1981)
Jan 1970 - 31 Dec 1971     Sir John Osbaldiston Field         (b. 1913 - d. 1985)

Governors
 1 Jan 1972 - Apr 1973     Sir John Osbaldiston Field         (s.a.)
Jul 1973 - 1978            John Hilary Smith                  (b. 1928)
1978 - 12 Jul 1979         Reginald James Wallace             (b. 1919 - d. 2012)
Presidents (title Beretitenti)
12 Jul 1979 - 10 Dec 1982  Ieremia Tienang Tabai (1st time)   (b. 1950)            NPP 
                             (from 23 Oct? 1982, Sir Ieremia Tienang Tabai)
10 Dec 1982 - 18 Feb 1983  Rota Onorio                        (b. 1919)
                             (chairman of Council of State)
18 Feb 1983 -  3 Jul 1991  Sir Ieremia Tienang Tabai          (s.a.)               NPP
                             (2nd time)  
 3 Jul 1991 - 24 May 1994  Teatao Teannaki                    (b. 1939 - d. 2016)  NPP
24 May 1994 - 28 May 1994  Tekiree Tamuera                    (b. 1940)            MTM
                             (chairman of Council of State)
28 May 1994 -  1 Oct 1994  Ata Teaotai
                             (chairman of Council of State)
 1 Oct 1994 - 28 Mar 2003  Teburoro Tito                      (b. 1953)            MTM
28 Mar 2003 - 10 Jul 2003  Tion Otang
                             (chairman of Council of State)
10 Jul 2003 - 11 Mar 2016  Anote Tong                         (b. 1952)            BTK
11 Mar 2016 -              Taneti Maamau                      (b. 1960)            TKP

Leader of Government Business
Apr 1971 - Apr 1974        Reuben Kiraua Uatioa               (b. 1924 - d. 1977)  GNP
Chief ministers
Apr 1974 - 17 Mar 1978     Naboua Ratieta                     (b. 1938 - d. 1986)  NNP
17 Mar 1978 - 12 Jul 1979  Ieremia Tienang Tabai              (s.a.)               NPP
12 Jul 1979                Post abolished

Party abbreviations - (Note: there is no tradition of formally organized political parties in Kiribati; they more closely resemble factions or interest groups because they have no formal platforms): BTK = Boutokaan Te Koaua (Pillars of Truth, split from NPP); KM = Kiribati Moa (Kiribati First, split from TKP, est.Nov 2019); TKP = Tobwaan Kiribati Party (Embracing Kiribati Party, BTK opposition, merger of KTK and Maurin Kiribati, est.19 Jan 2016);
- Former parties: CDP = Maneabau Te Mauri (Christian Democratic Party, 1985-1994, merged into MTM); GNP = Gilbertese National Party (supported Gilbert-Ellice separation, est.16 Oct 1965); KTK = Karikirakean Tei I-Kiribati (United Coalition Party, 2010-2016, merged into TKP); MTM = Maneaban Te Mauri (Protect the Maneaba, christian-democratic, conservative, merger of CDP and NPP, 2010 merged into KTK); NPP = National Progressive Party (merged into MTM)



Banaba (Ocean) Island

 3 Jan 1801                Discovered by U.S. Capt. Jered Gardener, named Rodman's Island.
1804                       Re-discovered by British Capt. John Mertho aboard Ocean and
                             named Ocean Island.
 3 May 1900                Ceded to British Phosphate Company (BPC) by local chiefs.
28 Nov 1900                Jurisdiction of the British Resident Commissioner for Gilbert
                             and Ellice Islands is extended to Ocean Island.
28 Sep 1901                Annexed for U.K. by Adm. Tupper aboard HMS Pylades.
19 May 1916                Included within the Gilbert and Ellice Islands colony.
26 Aug 1942 -  1 Oct 1945  Japanese occupation (renamed Oshiyan Jima).
1942                       Japanese deport most islanders to Nauru or Tarawa.
15 Dec 1945                Islanders are relocated to Rabi Island, in Fiji. 
 1 Oct 1975                Part of the Gilbert Islands.
1977                       Islanders begin to return.
12 Jul 1979                Part of independent Kiribati.
25 Nov 1979                Phosphate mining ends.
27 Jan 1980                Phosphate Commission's withdrawal completed.

District Officers
1907 - 1942                the Resident Commissioners
                           of
Gilbert and Ellice Islands
24 Sep 1940 -  4 Jan 1941  Francis George Leopold Holland     (b. 1884 - d. 1952)
                             (acting)
 1 Sep 1942 -  1 Oct 1945  Naoomi Suzuki -Japanese Commander  (d. 1946)
1945 - 194.                R.F. Wakefield
194. - 195.                Paul B. Laxton
195. - 1955                R.G. Roberts
1955 - 19..                J.B. McCaig
1974 - 1975                Tupoa Samoa Leupena
c.1977 - 19..              Ian Richardson
Managers on Ocean Island of the British Phosphate Commission
1919 - 1925                W. McFarlane
1925 - 1931                A.A. McClintock
1931 - 1933                F.F. Christian
1933 - 1936                H.B. Maynard
1936 - 1942                George Joseph Bridges (1st time)
1942 - 1945                Japanese occupation
Sep 1945 - 1951            George Joseph Bridges (2nd time)
                            
(from 7 Jun 1951, Sir George Joseph Bridges)
1951 - 1954                T.A. Adams

1954 - 1959                W.L. Verrier
1959 - 1966                Tom Muir
1966 - 1971                Len Withers
1971 - 1974                B.L. Blundell
1974 - 1976                E.B. Chapman
1976 - 1979                R. Elliott
1979 - 27 Jan 1980         J.W. Saggers

Banaban Advisers on Rabi (appointed by Fiji government)
1945 - 1946                Donald Gilbert Kennedy             (b. 1898 - d. 1976)
1946 - 1949                Francis George Leopold Holland     (s.a.)
1949 - 1951?               Edward James Coode                 (b. 1918 - d. 1979)
1951 - 195.                S.G. Marshall
c.1954                     R.T. Sanders
195. -  1 Jun 1965         Paul B. Laxton
Chairmen of the Council of Leaders and Elders in Rabi (in Fiji)
1965 - 1981?               Tebuke Rotan
1981? - 16 Dec 1991        Terubea Rongorongo
Dec 1991 - Dec 1996        Bill Cruickshank (acting)
Dec 1996 - Jan 2001        John Teaiwa
2001 - 2005                Iakoba Karutake
2005 - 2009                Teatu Rewi
2009 - Jun 2013            Paulo (Bauro) Vanualailai (1st time)
Jun 2013 - 2014?           Karia Christopher (interim)
2014? -                   
Paulo (Bauro) Vanualailai (2nd time)

Canton (Kanton) and Enderbury Islands

Map of Canton and
Enderbury Islands
Population: 1,000 (1966)

1823                       Enderbury discovered by U.K. Capt. James J. Coffin from the
                             ship Transit and named Enderby Island, after Samuel Enderby,
                             owner of a London whaling company. The version 'Enderbury' is a
                             misspelling.
 5 Aug 1824                Canton discovered, by two U.K. whaling ships: the Phoenix, Capt.
                             John Palmer; and the Mary, Capt. Edward Reed. The atoll was
                             initially named Mary Ballcout's Island after the shipowner's
                             wife. 
Dec 1823                   Enderbury Island discovered by Capt. James Coffin on British 
                             ship Transit.
28 Aug 1840                Enderbury visited by the U.S. Exploring Expedition under 
                             Capt. Wilkes.
 4 Mar 1854                U.S. whaling ship Canton under Capt. Andrew Wing runs around
                             on reef on Canton Island, from which island got its name.
1872                       U.S. Capt. Meade aboard U.S.S. Narragansett names it Canton Island.
10 Jul 1889                Enderbury Island claimed by Britain.
 6 Aug 1936                Canton Island claimed by Britain (and reclaimed on 3 Jun 1937).
 8 Apr 1937                Phoenix Islands part of British Gilbert and Ellice Islands colony.
 8 Jun 1937                U.S. National Geographic Society expedition on Canton and led by
                             astronomer Samuel Alfred Mitchell.
31 Aug 1937                
HMS Leith lands 2 radio operators on Canton Island to
                             maintain British sovereignty.
 3 Mar 1938                Canton and Enderbury Islands claimed by U.S.
 6 Mar 1938 -  7 Feb 1942  Enderbury colonized by U.S. (under Interior Department).
 7 Mar 1938 - 22 Mar 1940  Canton colonized by U.S. (under Interior Department).
 6 Apr 1939                Canton and Enderbury Islands become a joint Anglo-American
                             condominium for fifty years.
13 Sep 1943 - 14 Oct 1946  U.S. Naval Air Facility Canton Island
1968                       U.S. ends its presence on the islands.
12 Jul 1979                Part of independent Kiribati.
20 Sep 1979                Canton and Enderbury Islands are recognized by U.S. as part of
                             Kiribati.

British District officers
c.1938                     Francis Ivor Fleming               (b. 1888 - d. 1968)
Sep 1940 - 27 Sep 1941     Gerald B. Gallagher                (d. 1941)
c.1951 - 1955              Douglas M. Freegard
c.195. - c.1962            Paul B. Laxton
c.1965                     Tabunawati Takoa
U.S. Resident administrators
(the Civil Aeronautics Administration island managers)
1938 - 1951/52             ....
1951/52                    Edwin A. Gillaspy
1951/52 - 1956             William J. Evans
1956 - 1960                George Avery
c.1959/c.1962              J. Victor Cox
c.1962 - 1968              ....

U.S. Island Leaders on Canton
 
8 Jun 1937 - Jun 1937     Samuel Alfred Mitchell              (b. 1874 - d. 1960)
                             (expedition leader)
 7 Mar 1938 - 24 Mar 1939  James C. Kamakaiwi
                 (b. 1885 - d. 1951)
24 Mar 1939 - 28 May 1939  Henry Fialkowski
28 May 1939 -  9 Oct 1939  Sam Kahalewai                       (b. 1918 - d. 1977)
 9 Oct 1939 - 12 Mar 1940  Maurice Paquette
12 Mar 1940 - 22 Mar 1940  Charles Stein
U.S. Military Commanders on Canton

13 Feb 1942 - 194.         Herbert D. Gibson
194. - 14 Oct 1946         ....

U.S. Island Leaders on Enderbury
 6 Mar 1938 -  3 Dec 1938  Harold Kim (1st time)
 3 Dec 1938 - 23 Mar 1939  Charles Braun
23 Mar 1939 -  7 Jun 1939  James Kinney
 7 Jun 1939 - 27 Jul 1940  Harold Kim (2nd time)
27 Jul 1940 - 23 Mar 1941  Edward "Mike" McCorriston           (b. 1917 - d. 1975)
23 Mar 1941 - Nov 1941     H.P. Jensen, Jr.
Nov 1941 -  7 Feb 1942     Joseph Kepoo



Christmas (Kiritimati) Island

24 Dec 1774                Discovered by British Capt. James Cook,
                             named Christmas Island.
11 Mar 1857                Claimed for U.S.
Apr 1882                   Annexed by Britain by Capt. William Wiseman on HMS Caroline.
1902                       U.K. grants a 99-year lease to Lever Pacific Plantations.
1907 - 1932                Leased by Emmanuel Rougier of France.
28 Nov 1919                U.K. reasserts its claim to Christmas Island and annexes it 

                             to the Gilbert and Ellice Islands.
1936                       U.S. challenges Britain's claim to Christmas Island.
Feb 1937                   British open radio station.
12 Jul 1979                Part of independent Kiribati.
20 Sep 1979                Recognized as part of Kiribati by the U.S.

Proprietor
1907 - 1932                Emmanuel Rougier                     (b. 1864 - d. 1932)







© Ben Cahoon